In the fourth of its series for the 2014 recruiting class, Irish four-star defensive tackle commit Jay Hayes is broken down with a recruitment recap, prospect analysis, and more. Hayes doesn't lack candor, and currently as the lone interior defensive prospect on board for this class, he could be looking at big shoes to fill early in his career.
Jay Hayes (Defensive Tackle 6'5", 272)
Brooklyn (N.Y.) Poly Prep
Rank: No. 21 defensive tackle, Four-star
In March of his sophomore year and before Notre Dame
was largely on his radar, Jay Hayes already knew what he wanted to find in a college:
"I'm looking for a great, steady academic school and a place I can get a degree," he said. "I want to graduate from a school of prestige and I want a position coach that will push me to the next level so when I wake up in the morning I know he's going to give me a good task, and be a person I can trust."
So, it's not surprising that even with six offers under his belt, including Michigan, Hayes named Notre Dame his leader in May, even though he didn't yet hold an offer from the Irish. The combination of former Irish defensive coordinator Bob Diaco and Notre Dame's ranking as the No. 1 business school was an ideal combination for Hayes.
When the Irish offer did come through, Hayes committed to Notre Dame in November of his junior year, before even stepping foot on campus. And, despite the departure of Diaco, Hayes has remained incredibly solid to Notre Dame throughout the entire process.
Hayes was recruited with the option to move to defensive end, but he'll likely find his permanent home at Notre Dame along the interior. Rather raw still in his technique, Hayes possesses the explosion and power that can make that learning curve natural.
"Last spring, some of the Notre Dame coaches came to my high school and they said, 'This is how it is, you either like how we do things or you don't. I told them I'd keep them in mind. Coach [Brian] Kelly came two weeks later, and that's when I knew I wanted to go to Notre Dame." – Hayes
"It's a great academic school and you can't beat something like that," Hayes said. "Once that's on your plate, you want to make sure you take advantage of the opportunity." – Hayes
Links of Note:
Hayes' Initial Commitment
Hayes' profile, highlight clips & all stories
Look for an in-depth film breakdown and analysis of how
Hayes will fit into Notre Dame's defense in a follow-up story.
Hayes is commit No. 4 broken down in the "All Irish" series. Click below to view the first three in the series:
WR Justin Brent
DE Andrew Trumbetti
LB Greer Martini
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